According to Mullaly, just as socialism consists of a range of theoretical and political divisions, social democracy occupies a wide area on the political spectrum, bordering on liberalism at one end and Marxism at the other end. (Mullaly, 2007, 119) The New Democratic Party (NDP) of Canada is a well-known form of social democracy. Social democrats believe that society is “characterized by equality, solidarity, and co-operation.” (Mullaly, 2007, 123)
According to the article, Poorest to Pay for Campbell Plan, British Columbia has the highest poverty rate in Canada. Thirteen percent of the British Columbian population is living in poverty, and of this thirteen percent, thirty percent are living in poverty with a disability. There are 11, 750 people with a mental illness or who have severe addictions that are homeless in British Columbia. The province, which is headed by Gordon Campbell, (a New Democratic Party member) has no plan to reduce the amount of poverty. (Cohen & Klein, 2008) Not only does the poverty situation desperately need to be solved, but a large number of people with mental illnesses are living in poverty; and they need to be treated. In fact, 20% of Canadians will personally experience a mental illness in their lifetime.” (Canadian Mental Health Association, 2010)
After reading the article I was utterly shocked at how such as serious manner can have no intentions to be solved. Especially from Campbell who is a well-known NDP member that has served for many years. As already mentioned, according to Mullaly, social democrats believe that society is characterized by equality, solidarity, and co-operation. How could the British Columbian government not organize a program that would help those who are in poverty? Citizens of the province who are in poverty need sufficient help, support and treatment; especially those who are mentally ill. All citizens who are in poverty, whether they suffer from mental illnesses, physical disabilities, or are Aboriginal for example, need adequate help, support, and treatment. They deserve to be treated equally, and they deserve to receive great cooperation from the government and society of British Columbia. Their level of stability in society needs to increase.
One way the article suggests that the NDP government of British Columbia could help bring the poverty to sufficient standards of living is the operation of surplus. The article states: “the $144 million going to individual tax reduction would go a long way if it were instead directed towards low-income families.” (Cohen & Klein, 2008) It is clearly outlined by Cohen and Klein that if portions of the government funding went to helping the poor live in reasonable conditions, that society would benefit. The poor would be treated more as equals and the NDP government of British Columbia would be admired and well respected.
Mullaly, B. (2007). The New Structural Social Work (3rd ed.). Canada: Oxford University Press.
Cohen, M., & Klein, S. (n.d.). Poorest to Pay for Campbell Plan. Retrieved November 10, 2010, from
The Tyee website: http://thetyee.ca/Views/2008/10/28/PoorestPay/
Mental Health/Mental Illness. (n.d.). Retrieved November 10, 2010, from Canadian Mental Health
Association website: http://www.cmha.ca/bins/content_page.asp?cid=6-20-23-43